The new air traffic control tower at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which was recently inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, is the tallest ATC tower in India, at 84 metres above ground and standing on an area of 2,800 sq. metres within the airport.
The modernistic design of the ATC tower will allow air tower controllers to have an unobstructed view of the entire operational area, which will help optimise air traffic separation and increase the traffic handling capacity at the airport. It will be equipped with the latest technology including electronic flight strips that will soften the work load of the tower controller, enhance safety and overall capacity of the airport.
The ATC tower will also be equipped to handle current and future air traffic movements. The airside upgradation (addition of new taxiways and rapid-exit taxiways) will help reduce the runway occupancy time, further enhance efficiency levels and increase air traffic movements per hour.
GVK, one of India’s largest infrastructure developers, entered the aviation sector when Mumbai International Pvt. Ltd, a consortium led by the Hyderabad-based group, won the mandate to operate, manage and develop the country’s busiest airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, in Mumbai. MIAL is currently executing a project that will transform CSIA into one of the best airports in the world.
“The new ATC tower has already won accolades for its design, architecture and construction quality. More than that, it will help CSIA take a leap in navigation capabilities and help enhance airport performance, efficiency, capacity and safety. It is a tribute to what can be achieved even in most trying circumstances,” G.V. Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, GVK MIAL, said.
The contract for the iconic design and architecture project was awarded to Hong Kong-based architectural design firm HOK and international engineering design firm Arup following a global architectural and engineering design competition. International lighting consultant Speirs + Major installed the innovatively designed lighting of the tower that highlights its sculptural qualities.
Arup provided structural, geotechnical, civil, mechanical, electrical, public health and acoustic engineering services for the ATC tower. As part of a separate contract, Arup also provided façade design services.
“The main challenges for Arup were to shoehorn the 84m tall tower with all associated services including a technical block and a mechanical plant building (a total of 3,641 m2) onto the 2,884m2 site, then marrying them with a competition winning design concept and satisfying the functional demands of air traffic control,” Arup said. “The sloping skirts are present primarily as an architectural feature, but also break up the air flow around the tower, reducing the wind-induced vibrations. As a result, control of vibrations was achieved without the use of dampers.”
Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd is a joint venture between the GVK-led consortium and Airports Authority of India. In May 2006, MIAL was awarded the contract for modernising, upgrading and expanding Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which catered to 8.07 million passengers and 160,515 tonnes of cargo for the quarter ended June 30, 2013.